As you know, on occasion I enjoy airing out my random thoughts about the world here at my humble little blog – something about seeing them in print makes them seem valid and true. It’s wonderful! But clearly I’m fooling myself a little bit here. I mean WordPress just gave me this blog for free that one night I was high on decongestants and posts whatever gobbledy goop I care to put on it without question.
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Wifi networks are a serious health hazard.
Buying Facebook shares at their IPO was a smart move.
See? Anything at all.
But you know who doesn’t let you just post any old random thought that pops into your head? The New York Times, that’s who.
Oh god, I just realized this lead-up might sound like I published something in the New York Times. (And that’s why you’re looking so confused!) No, no, no, no. Like I said, they are a more discerning written platform. No, just take this lead-up for what it clearly is – padding for a simple post in hopes of distracting you from the fact that my posting frequency and intelligence level have dropped to nearly undetectable levels lately.
On to my point. Grey & shiny may be a simple blog for simple thoughts, but apparently the New York Times is on the same page as me with their recent debate on When Do Kids Become Adults?
Let me quote from the intro:
Many of these high school students have been driving since they were 16, and those who have turned 18 are no longer minors: they can vote, join the military and marry their sweethearts. But they can’t buy a beer.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I said pretty much the exact same thing a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure that means I scooped the New York Times. (I suppose they took the time to consult with experts or whatever.)
My favourite of the various expert responses came from Laurence Steinberg, an adolescent brain researcher, talking about how various age restrictions came to be:
science has never had much of an influence on these sorts of decisions. If it did, we wouldn’t have ended up with a society that permits teenagers to drive before they can see R-rated movies on their own, or go to war before they can buy beer. Surely the maturity required to operate a car or face combat exceeds that required to handle sexy movies or drinking. Age boundaries are drawn for mainly political reasons, not scientific ones. It’s unlikely that brain science will have much of an impact on these thresholds, no matter what the science says.
Yes, science so rarely has anything to do with politically charged decisions. So few people will admit to that though.
So what have I been doing since I clearly haven’t been spending my time writing anything of interest? Nothing much to be honest. I’ve simply lacked the will to dissect my thoughts enough to put them into words. Part of the problem is that it is May and I have just been reminded that the sun exists; I’ve become too baffled by the bright light and warm sensation on my skin to do anything but let my eyes glaze over the world in wonderment and let it soak over me. So that’s what I’ve been doing, a lot.
What have you been up to? Write any padded-up blog posts lately in hopes of keeping your handful of readers semi-interested? Felt oddly validated by people at the New York Times with fancy titles after their names agreeing with you?